Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
No one can make you serve customers well….that’s because great service is a choice. Harvey Mackay, a business motivational speaker, tells a wonderful story about a cab driver who proved this point.
He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.
He handed my friend a laminated card and said: ‘I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.’
Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment….
This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean!
As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.’ My friend said jokingly, ‘No, I’d prefer a soft drink.’ Wally smiled and said, ‘No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.’ Almost stuttering, Harvey said, ‘I’ll take a Diet Coke.’
Handing him his drink, Wally said, ‘If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today..’
As they were pulling away, Wally handed my friend another laminated card, ‘These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.’
And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts…
‘Tell me, Wally,’ my amazed friend asked the driver, ‘have you always served customers like this?’
Wally smiled into the rear view mirror. ‘No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day.
He had just written a book called You’ll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself. He said, ‘Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.’
‘That hit me right between the eyes,’ said Wally. ‘Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers.. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.’
‘I take it that has paid off for you,’ Harvey said.
‘It sure has,’ Wally replied. ‘My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.’
Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. I’ve probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. Whenever I go to their cities, I give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told me all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what I was suggesting.
Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.
Ducks Quack, Eagles Soar.
Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.
How will you serve your customers (read: students, parents, colleagues) today?!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
- Get published.
- Read more books. (Goal of 50 in 2011)
- Blog more often. (Goal of three times per month)
Friday, September 23, 2011
In this high-stakes accountability environment, our gifted students are often forgotten. I know in most districts where I have worked, our focus has been on the most at-risk (or ask my current employer says: at promise) students. But, what about our gifted learners? Are they being pushed to their fullest potential? Are we challenging our gifted learners? Shouldn't we consider all students, not just the sub-group/reporting category that may prevent a school from making AYP?
I'd encourage you to read the article here.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
This professional text is from Harvard's Project Zero. It is filled with thinking routines for classroom use along with case studies and a DVD. These are excellent resources for any and all content areas and grade levels. The book is organized in a very handy way with the routines grouped by use - before, during and after the learning occurs. I have used these routines with students and adults, which great success!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Part of my role as an Instructional Coach is to support teachers’ implementation of new curriculum and improved instructional practices through job-embedded professional development. Hopefully, I can be the bridge to forge the implementation dip that occurs when one learns something new. This leads me to the Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM) as a tool to assess progress and support implementation efforts.
First, I have to be aware of how the change will impact teachers; thus, the personal/affective aspects of change. Where are my teachers on this continuum?
Stages of Concern:
Awareness – not aware of change or doesn’t want to learn it.
Information – heard of change, needs more information.
Personal – main concern is how change will affect me.
Management/Task – main concern is about the scheduling, tasks to be one, management.
Consequence/Impact – main concern is how to make the change work for student success.
Collaboration – main concern is how to make it work even better by collaborating with colleagues
Refocusing – seeking out continuous improvement to make the change even better.
Typically, teachers’ comments in meetings and even in hallways, give insight to where they are on this continuum. I have seen teachers move several stages in one professional development session. I have seen other teachers camp out on one stage for a while. My goal is to meet them where they are. Tomorrow, I’ll post about how to help teachers move forward.
Hall, G. E., Hord, S. M. (2011). Implementation: Learning builds the bridge between research
and practice. JSD, 32(4), 52-57.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
We know that all students can learn!
We believe in our students!
We won’t give up on our students!
Here’s hoping your first day is grand! (And if you've been in school a while, here's hoping your year is off to a fantastic start!)
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I've had this book on my to-read list for a while and when Barnes and Noble offered it on the Nook for $2.99, I purchased it. Medina is a developmental molecular biologist and explains in plain English how our brain works. I've summarized each rule here and included a little about impact for teachers/schools. The post was too long, so I divvied it up into three posts.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
- Work these days is heuristic and not algorithmic; meaning it’s less routine and more creative.
- People want to direct their own work and be more self-direct rather than rely on a management hierarchy.
- Rewarding work (the carrot and the stick)
- Contingent rewards (if-then), yield poor results
- For the short term, you might see a boost, but for the long term it worsens
- Contingent rewards are not for creative work; it actually stifles creativity by narrowing the focus
- Giving a reward may signal the task is undesirable
- If you reward a task once, you have to reward always and may even have to increase reward
- Now-that rewards keep creativity because you aren’t telling people up front that there’s a reward
- Non-tangible rewards are best in a now-that scenario.
- Consider praise and/or specific feedback as a reward.
- Employees (and students?) want autonomy over the Four Ts (Chapter 4)
- Task – What to do
- Time – How/when to spend time
- Technique – How to complete task
- Team – With whom to work
- This would be pretty easy to do in a classroom – Can we say Readers’-Writers’ Workshop?!
- Consider a Results Only Work Environment (R.O.W.E.) a la` Best Buy. Doesn’t matter how/when you do it, as long as it gets done well.
- 20% time a la` Google – Employees choose how to spend 20% of their work time. They choose which work-related projects to pursue. This 20% time at Google led to Gmail, Google Talk and Google News, among others. If 20% is too big a place to start, think about 10% or one afternoon per month. I can definitely see classroom implications for this!
- Mastery is a mindset (Carol Dweck) (Chapter 5)
- When setting goals, set learning goals instead of achievement goals. Achievement goals tend to be too narrow and folks could do more.
- Mastery is hard and takes grit/determination/perseverance.
- Mastery takes deliberate practice, but most people want to get better.
- Purpose versus profit. (Chapter 6)
- People are more motivated by having a purpose.
- People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
- Am I better today than I was yesterday?
Isee some educational implications of this book, like allowing students choice of assignments, choice of groups/team, etc. I was also glad to see Dweck’s growth mindset cited. Intelligence isn’t fixed and with hard work and dedication, one can grow. We can hold ALL students to high standards. While I don’t think this book is the end-all, be-all, he does make some good points to consider.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
- What are we preparing our students for?
- Strategic replacements/upgrades of outdated curriculum
- Updates are replacements of outdated content, skills and assessments
- Media, global and digital literacy – what is it and what does it look like?
- Students are processing information differently.
- Most learning isn’t linear.
- Every school should have at least 3 benchmark assessments where students get to “be” a futurist and/or practice new genre(s).
- Have student develop the rubrics – What does a quality __________ (blog, podcast, wiki, etc.) look like?
- New School Versions
- Schedule – What types of schedules would best help kids?
- Student grouping – Why do we always need 3rd graders together?
- Personnel grouping – Why are we only meeting with our content area/department?
- Space (virtual and physical) – Virtual Learning Magnets (Tom Welsh)
Monday, August 1, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Ginny’s adventure continues when she gets notification that the last (lost in Greece) letter has been found. She returns to London to retrieve the 13th envelope and follow Aunt Peg’s final instructions. The journey continues with Keith, the love interest in the first book, and a new young man, Oliver, who found the lost letter. When Oliver seems to be less than kind, Keith agrees to join Ginny in completing the tasks for the final letter. Not sure if a third book in the series is planned, but the author definitely leaves the ending open for another book.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
- Get published.
- Read more books. (Goal of 50 in 2011)
- Blog more often. (Goal of three times per month)
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I am also wondering how this can translate into the first weeks of school in the fall. Will students have an opportunity to share their writing? How about give a book talk about their summer reading? What will that look like?
Anybody have goals for summer reading and writing you’d like to share?
Monday, June 6, 2011
Themes: risk-taking, relationships, family, trust
Sequel: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Saturday, June 4, 2011
- A sound, coherent curriculum, with fewer standards.
- Rich, engaging lessons. (modeling, guided practice, checks for understanding)
- Meaningful reading and writing in all content areas.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Chapter 7: Making Math Meaningful
- Reduce the number of standards by 50% (201). Recruit math and science professionals to review the standards with teachers.
- Use effective teaching strategies:
- Modeling, guided practice, checks for understanding
- Create and integrate opportunities for students to apply essential math concepts. (202)
- Integrate reading, writing, and discussion into problem solving, application, and interpretation.” (202)
- Students should have 15-20 opportunities per year to read current articles and see math in action.
- These articles should contain raw information or data and students should be asked to “make inferences, support arguments, and draw conclusions” using these sources. (207)
- Close, slow reading of the textbook would allow students to “hone their ‘technical reading’ ability from texts that include procedures, directions, and instructional manuals.” (208)
- Writing is a powerful tool for problem solving. Students should be asked to explain, interpret or evaluate a solution in writing.